Smoke in the mountains of the Triunfo biosphere reserve. Smoke in the mountains of El Triunfo.

Fire consumes 130 hectares in Chiapas biosphere reserve

Week-old fire was 90% under control as of Wednesday morning

Over 130 hectares of virgin pine and oak forest have been consumed by a week-long wildfire in the southern Chiapas biosphere reserve and natural park of El Triunfo.

The blaze started on March 26 in a remote mountainous region in the municipality of Mapastepec, where fighting the fire was complicated by having to travel between five and seven hours to reach the area.

About 250 firefighters have been working for over a week to bring the blaze under control. As of this morning, it was about 90% contained.

An official with the Commission for Natural Protected Areas (Conanp) said yesterday that a military helicopter had been enlisted to transport personnel and dump water on the fire, 2,500 liters at a time.

Conditions during the current dry season have been worsened by the presence of a weak El Niño, a natural climate phenomenon triggered by warmer temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean that can significantly affect weather.

Conanp warned residents of mountain communities that rely on fire for cooking to avoid lighting fires if they were unable control them.

Source: Cuarto Poder (sp)

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